Sotiris is my taxi-driver in Cyprus. I used his services mostly in my first visits to the island when I didn’t have enough confidence to drive on the left side…. During our journeys we talked a lot, especially on our music-loving sharing.
Sotiris told me that he is a refugee. He was born in a big village in north Cyprus. One day in the summer of 1974 his life changed.
“It was a completely regular day. I was 10 years old. My father went to his work in the market, and suddenly we heard shouts -The Turks are coming! The Turks are coming! Harry! Harry! And within less than an hour we all had become refugees…”
As I used to travel regularly to Cyprus I know many refugees. They are doing economically well. “They took our homes and properties but not our minds”, one of them said, but it is a very painful part of any of them.
“Recently”, Sotiris said, “I had made a visit to my village and my home on the occupied side, and you know how awful the feeling to see others live in your home and you can do nothing about it?”
In 14 August 1996 there was the funeral of Tassos Isaak, a Cypriot Greek who was killed few days earlier by Turkish nationalist in the United Nations Buffer Zone between the two parts of Cyprus. In the protest aftermath the funeral, Solomos Solomou, Tassos’ cousin, tried to climb up the flagpole to remove the Turkish flag. He was shot five times by the Turkish guard and had died with a cigarette still in his mouth.
The song “Always joyful” is on this tragedy,with a big light coming up at the end.
The sinners of the night and the lonely of the dawn
need heavy Zebekiko and nervy driving
Hang around places erased from the map
for a drop of heaven for a false love
Those who became friends to Death
pass away with a cigarette between their lips
In their wild dreams they give themselves
always joyful, always joyful
always joyful and being deceived
The rout of our youth is Athens-Saloniki
we built a town together and yet I live in rent
I fell into a dream of you on a lime mat
and saw that night produces light and the shell purple
Dimitris Mitropanos in a beautiful clip:
…..”And I really think that the world is big enough, there is a place for everyone, people can get along among themselves…” said Sotiris.
In this version which we added subtitles, the composer of the song Thanos Mikroutsikos conducts and lets us hear well the shot that had killed Solomos…
Panta Gelastoi-Πάντα Γελαστοί-Always Joyful
Words: Alkis Alkaios
Music: Thanos MikroutsikosI would like to comment on two idioms in the song: -Heavy Zebekiko is a heavy tempo solo dance ,the words of the songs are always on existential matters, life and death .injustice etc. -” We built a town together…” says the poet .I think he means that we devoted ourselves to a big goal.